13 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a linen ·belt [loincloth; underwear; C priests like Jeremiah wore linen undergarments; Ex. 28:39; 39:27–29; Ezek. 44:17–18] and put it around your ·waist [loins]. Don’t let the ·belt [loincloth; underwear] ·get wet [be washed; be brought into water].”
2 So I bought a ·linen belt [loincloth; underwear], just as the Lord told me, and put it around my ·waist [loins]. 3 Then the Lord spoke his word to me a second time: 4 “Take the ·belt [loincloth; underwear] you bought and ·are wearing [L is on your loins], and go to Perath [C the name of the Euphrates River or a town near Jerusalem with a similar name (Josh. 18:23)]. Hide the ·belt [loincloth; underwear] there in a crack in the rocks.” 5 So I went to Perath and hid the ·belt [loincloth; underwear] there, just as the Lord ·told [commanded] me.
6 ·Many days later [L At the end of many days] the Lord said to me, “Now go to Perath [v. 4] and get the ·belt [loincloth; underwear] I ·told [commanded] you to hide there.” 7 So I went to Perath and dug up the ·belt [loincloth; underwear] and took it from where I had hidden it. But now it was ruined; it was good for nothing.
8 Then the Lord spoke his word to me. 9 This is what the Lord said: “In the same way I will ·ruin [destroy; rot away] the pride of the people of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. 10 These evil people refuse to listen to my ·warnings [L words]. They ·stubbornly do only what they want to do [L follow/go after their stubborn hearts], and they ·follow [L go after] other gods to serve and ·worship [bow down to] them. So they will become like this ·linen belt [loincloth; underwear]—good for nothing. 11 As a ·belt [loincloth; underwear] ·is wrapped tightly around [clings to] a person’s ·waist [loins], I ·wrapped the families of Israel and Judah around [L caused all the house of Israel and all the house of Judah to cling to] me,” says the Lord. “I did that so they would be my people and bring fame, praise, and ·honor [splendor] to me. But my people would not listen.
Warnings About Leather Wine Bags
12 “Say to them: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: All ·leather bags for holding wine [wineskins] should be filled with wine.’ People will say to you: ‘·Of course, we know [L Do we not know that…?] all wine bags should be filled with wine.’ 13 Then you will say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: I will ·make everyone in this land like a drunken person [L fill with drunkenness all who live in this land; C they will drink from the “cup of God’s wrath” (25:15–18)]—the kings who sit on David’s throne, the priests and the prophets, and all the people who live in Jerusalem. 14 I will make them smash against one another, fathers and sons alike, says the Lord. I will not feel sorry or have pity on them or show ·mercy [compassion] that would stop me from destroying them.’”
Threat of Slavery
15 Listen and ·pay attention [L give ear]. Don’t ·be too proud [exalt yourself], because the Lord has spoken to you. 16 Give glory to the Lord your God before he brings darkness and before ·you slip and fall [L your feet stumble] on the dark hills. You hope for light, but he will turn it into thick darkness; he will change it into deep gloom [Amos 5:18–20]. 17 If you don’t listen to him, I will cry secretly because of your pride. I will cry painfully, and my eyes will ·overflow [run down] with tears, because the ·Lord’s people [L the flock of the Lord] will be ·captured [exiled].
18 Tell this to the king and the queen mother [L perhaps Jehoiachin and his mother Nehushta who went into exile in 597 bc (22:26; 29:2; 2 Kin. 24:8–17)] “Come down from your thrones, because your ·beautiful [splendid; glorious] crowns ·have fallen [or will fall] from your heads.” 19 The cities of ·southern Judah [L the Negev] are ·locked [shut] up, and no one can open them. All Judah will be ·taken as captives to a foreign land [exiled; C to Babylon]; they will ·be carried away [exiled] completely [C the exile in 597 bc was a precursor to the more complete one in 586 bc].
20 Look up and see [C addressed to queen mother] the people coming from the north [C the Babylonian army]. Where is the flock ·God gave you to care for [L given to you], ·the flock you bragged about [L your splendid flock; C the people of Judah]? 21 What will you say when ·they [or God] appoint as your ·heads [rulers] those you had thought were your ·friends [allies]? Won’t ·you have much pain and trouble [L pain seize you], like a woman giving birth to a baby [4:31; 6:24; 22:23; 30:6; 48:41; 49:22, 24; 50:43]? 22 You might ·ask yourself [L say in your heart], “Why has this happened to me?” It happened because of your many ·sins [iniquities]. Because of your ·sins [iniquities], your skirt was torn off and your ·body [L heel; C euphemism for genitals] has been ·treated badly [violated]. 23 Can a person from ·Cush [Ethiopia] change ·his skin [L its color]? Can a leopard change his spots? In the same way, you [C Jerusalem] cannot change and do good, because you are accustomed to doing evil.
24 “I will scatter you like chaff that is ·blown away [driven] by the ·desert [wilderness] wind. 25 This is ·what will happen to you [L your lot]; ·this is your part in my plans [L the portion decreed for you],” says the Lord. “Because you forgot me and ·trusted [had confidence] in ·false gods [falsehood; lies], 26 I will pull your skirts up over your face so everyone will see your ·shame [humiliation; Nah. 3:6]. 27 I have seen the terrible things you have done: your acts of adultery and your ·snorting [neighing; C like a horse in heat], your prostitution, your ·hateful [abominable; detestable] acts on the hills and in the fields [C where they had shrines to false gods]. ·How terrible it will be for [Woe to] you, Jerusalem. How long will you continue being unclean?”
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